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Hi I'm Jean

I'm a retired professor who loves travel, playing the organ, and being a Mormon.

About Me

During my years in academia I found teaching university students to be an ongoing challenge and writing literary criticism to be an interesting puzzle. Since I retired, however, my two loves are playing the church pipe organ (especially Bach for my postludes) and writing novels (the first five are for YA and younger readers). My current project is a Christmas novel for a general audience. I was named Exchange Professor for my university to Qingdao, PR China, for two years, and found the work exhilarating. I also taught for a university consortium at Imperial College in London. I loved attending the theatre several times a week, especially the Shakespeare plays. Partly my academic background informed that interest, but I've also had experience with local stage performances and been a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild). Now that my five children are grown and gone (along with all the hamsters, birds, cats, and tropical fish), I love to simply close the front door and travel. A good friend (another retired professor) and I recently decided to join forces for our senior years. We now share a condo, study the scriptures together in the evening over a cup of fresh ginger and lemon tea, and have assorted adventures around the world.

Why I am a Mormon

Sometimes friends have said they would find my faith too restricting. This surprises me, because I see the Gospel of Jesus Christ as serving like the narrow part of an hourglass. It identifies and restricts the miseries and stupidities of the world so that I don't have to feel all the pain they would inflict. That doesn't mean my life has been easy. I have struggled with sickness and betrayal as well as financial and emotional bewilderment, but I use the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as a beacon, as my source of light and hope. My allegiance to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ has provided me with a community of like-minded friends to lift and comfort me, and I have tried to provide the same service for many of them. Above all, the Book of Mormon exists. What would I do with that knowledge if I were to renounce my faith? I have read it repeatedly throughout my life to help me find answers to the dilemmas of being a mother, a professor, and now a senior who will soon meet her Maker. Of all the many books I have studied and taught, the Book of Mormon is the one I trust.

How I live my faith

My faith has been very important to me in dealing with the dilemmas of my professional and personal life. When navigating the literature written for young people (as well as my own children’s problems), I earnestly tried to be honest and open. I was grateful for a church with prophets that receive continuous revelation from God to help me cope with a rapidly changing world. I was equally grateful for a church that fearlessly asserts the eternal verities, principles that hold true throughout the ages and will not shift according to popular culture. While I've served in church administration to the women's group (Ward Relief Society President), and while I've occasionally been called to teach the children in Primary, my recurring church calling has been to make music. Sometimes I've directed SATB choirs for Sacrament Service, conducted choruses and instrumental groups for teens, and provided keyboard accompaniments for soloists of all stripes. But my all-time favorite is organist. Each Sunday I have the great pleasure of playing a pipe organ for my local congregation. I thoroughly enjoy exploring the colors available on the instrument, as well as the techniques that encourage enthusiastic worship during congregational hymn singing.

What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”

I like the analogy of our lives to a three-act play. We are currently embroiled, here on planet Earth, in the second act. Our greatest dilemmas and tragedies are perceived as such because we've forgotten about the other two acts of the play. We often feel bewildered because we've lost touch with what happened in the first act, the life we had prior to coming to Earth. We also feel lost because we don't remember that the third act containing the denouement and resolution will surely come. But if we use prayer and scripture and ongoing revelation to fill in a few of the holes in our memory, we can access a view of the grand sweep of our eternal lives through all three phases. Show more Show less